Although its main collection stems from the objects which were seized from the Cordovan Convents in 1835, and the subsequent contributions from 1868, the composition of the present permanent collection is the result of various donations, acquisitions and deposited items throughout the years, the following of which are worth special mention due to the volume of works contributed: the Cabriñana donation (1898), the Avilés donation (1922), the Inurria deposit (1943), the Bea Pelayo donation (1948-62), the Camacho Padilla donation (1969) and the Romero de Torres collection (1991), all of which have in some way contributed to increasing the diversity which is presented.
With respect to this, we should firstly mention the painting section, where practically all the major Cordovan artists are represented from the Middle Ages to date, notably Pedro de Córdoba, Pedro Romana, Alejo Fernández, Pablo de Céspedes, Juan de Peñalosa, Juan Luís Zambrano, Antonio del Castillo, Fray Juan del Santísimo Sacramento, Antonio Palomino, Rafael Romero Barros, Tomás Muñoz Lucena, José Garnelo y Alda, Rafael and Julio Romero de Torres, Rafael Botí, Pedro Bueno, Equipo-57, José María Báez, José María García Parody, Desiderio Delgado, Dorotea von Elbe, Jacinto Lara, etc., forming an essential group for learning about the evolution of local painting.
Within this, works by painters from other Spanish schools are worth mention, such as, -amongst others-, Valdés Leal, Ribera, Bocanegra, Haes, Pinazo, Pradilla, Iturrino, Rusiñol, Regoyos, Casas, Sorolla or Zuloaga; and sculptures by authors, from Juan de Mesa, Duque Cornejo or Miguel Verdiguier, to Miguel Blay, Agustín Querol, Quintín de Torre, Julio Antonio, Juan Cristobal, Jacinto Higueras or José Capuz, in particular Mateo Inurria Lainosa, by whom the Museum holds a significant number of pieces.
Its important collection of works on paper is also worth special mention, in particular the drawings section, with noteworthy examples of artists? works from the 16th - 20th century, including Pedro de Campaña, José de Ribera, Antonio del Castillo, Antonio García Reinoso, Lucas Valdés, Miguel Verdiguier, José Camarón, Vicente López, Mariano Fortuny, Joaquín Sorolla, Rafael Romero de Torres, Mateo Inurria, etc.
This museum also holds a collection of prints from approximately the same period, more numerous than the highly significant drawings collection. In particular, Francisco de Goya, Bartolomé Maura, Francisco Iturrino or Ricardo Baroja stand out for the volume of work represented.
It was officially created as a result of a Royal Order enacted in 1844. Until 1916, it was housed in the same building as the Archaeological Museum, initially controlled by the Provincial Council and the Ministry of Public Instruction. In 1978, it was incorporated into the Ministry of Culture?s National Museum Trust, and, since 1984, it has been a State-owned museum, run by the Autonomous Community of Andalucía through the Department of Culture.